Dos Santos vs. Mir: Is Frank Mir Truly One of the All-Time Greats at HW?
After getting demolished by Junior dos Santos at UFC 146, there are a few pertinent questions being asked about Frank Mir: Where does the UFC veteran go from here? Can he ever realistically challenge for the title again? And, does Frank Mir deserve to be ranked among the all-time great heavyweights?
The answer to the first question is: Mir goes back to training and assumes his place as a pretty darn good heavyweight draw.
The answer to the second question is quite simple: no.
The answer to the last question is a little complex and requires some analysis.
With the exception of his 2004 motorcycle accident, Mir has been consistently fighting in the UFC twice a year since 2001. That makes him one of the longest-running UFC fighters in history.
He has a UFC record of 14-6, which may appear to the novice as a mediocre record, but keep in mind UFC legends Randy Couture and BJ Penn (still the only two fighters in promotional history to ever hold titles in two separate weight divisions) also sported ostensibly "mediocre" records, 19-11 and 16-8, respectively.
That’s what happens when fighters enter the big leagues early and regularly face top competition—they never get a chance to pad their records.
Mir would go on to win the heavyweight title twice, once for the undisputed belt when he snapped Tim Sylvia’s forearm in half, and once for the interim title when he became the first man to knock out Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
In addition to those accolades, Mir has fought, but lost, three other times for the heavyweight strap—against Brock Lesnar, Shane Carwin and Junior Dos Santos.
All told, Frank Mir has fought for the sport’s most prestigious title five times in his 11-year career. He’s held the belt twice. He’s snapped two champions’ limbs.
The man is a bona fide monster.
Does he deserve to be ranked amongst the top heavyweights of all time? You better believe it.
Mir is 33 years old now. He’s been around the block. He actually fought—and easily tapped out—Tank Abbott. That’s not to infer any historical hierarchy, mind you, but only to point out just how long Frank Mir has been successfully doing his thing in the Octagon.
MMA is still a young sport, so the history books have yet to be written. But in 20 years, when the records are being archived, if I’m still sitting behind this keyboard, you can bet your butt that Frank Mir will be ranked among the best heavyweights of all time.
Not because I like the guy. But because he deserves it.
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